Six Rules for Moshing at Shows

Categories: scene politics

John Gilhooley
By Gavin Cleaver
Apparently the youth of today can sometimes be found in "pits," and within these pits, it is agreed upon they will "mosh," a word that covers a variety of bodily gyrations and movements. While in Britain (where I come from) we call them "polite sections" where everyone vigorously shakes hands and nods gently in time to the music, I've now been here long enough that I've seen a thing or two.

1. Don't Be a Kill Joy
Venues that discourage mosh pits down by the stage are the worst. Leave it out, and people are just moving up and down very rapidly--it's not the beaches at Normandy. If they are indeed not douche enough to pay heed to the following tips, then we are all perfectly capable of having a good time without stopping things. I think I'm biased, mind you--the first gig I ever played got stopped midsong by the sound guy after a mosh pit started encroaching on the stage. In the unlikely event you're reading this, sound guy from a now-defunct bar in Cardiff, you are worse than herpes.

2. If Someone Falls Over, Help 'Em Up!
Seriously. That's how people get hurt. One of the scariest things I've ever seen is someone in a pit at Reading Festival going into an epileptic fit, which resulted in him writhing around while about five people tried to hold back a crowd of thousands. One lone hero carried him over his shoulder all the way out.

3 Don't Be a Meathead
The aim of a mosh pit is not to smash into other people as hard as you possibly can. If you think charging at someone shoulder-first, especially if they're not expecting it, is a good idea, then please remove yourself from the venue and retreat to an underground bunker to await the apocalypse that douches such as yourself will surely one day bring on. Also, forcefully pushing people into the ring of non-moshing people is really, really, really annoying. Grow up.

4. It's Not a Competition
There's no Best At Moshing award. Just have a good time. Forget about what people around you are doing. On the edge of a mosh pit, and people are smashing into you? Yeah, that's going to happen, due to the douches from the previous step.

5. Know When to Quit
However, if there are shoulder-barging douches around you in the pit, and they are too drunk to reason with, it might be best to leave the pit. Security should be on any pit that gets out of control. Mosh pits are an excellent time and should be encouraged by venues; however, there is a thin line between exuberant happiness at music and overwhelming idiocy. That line is crossed when people stop focusing on the live music and start focusing on hurting people. STOP. IT.

6. Choose Your Shoes Wisely

High heels? Really? You're going to wear high heels?

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